I've been to a several funerals in the last few years, but one funeral gave me a lot to think about.  Generally, when I go to a funeral, grief is evident everywhere while treasured memories of the deceased are shared among family and friends. 

At this funeral, however, the one feeling that I carried with me as I left the church was that it appeared that 

almost no one was sorry or sad.  I saw very few tears and really, the whole occasion just seemed to be an effort at how quickly everyone could get done with the event and go home. 

I knew the deceased, and I knew that he was not "bad" in the sense that everyone was left with bad or abusive memories.  Rather, although he was quite successful in many business areas of life, he had apparently not been a significant person in the lives of those around him.  While he had left an inheritance of money and possessions, he had apparently not left a lifetime of relationship memories.  Somehow he had failed to be significant in the lives of those around him while still being successful in the business world. 

He had long since retired so very few if any of his business associates attended his funeral.  Rather, it was his close family and friends, and of those who attended, it seemed to be apparent that his life had not centered around them. 

I don't like to cause people grief, but I do want people to be sad at my funeral.  I want them to feel they have suffered a great loss.  I want them to be joyful because I have gone to heaven, but I want to be such a significant person in many people's lives that there is great sorrow when I'm gone.  I want to be a friend and a mother or a daughter or sister that is missed, because it is a tragedy--even a wasted life--if at the end of life, no one is sorry or there is no loss felt.   What is a life for if when it is done, no one cares if you are gone?

Being significant comes from everyday choices--choices to be involved in the lives of others rather than spend time on myself.  It comes from giving up what I want to do to be with others and do what they want to do.  It comes from spending less time, energy and money on things, and more on people.  It comes from the example of Jesus who gave up his whole life to invest in the lives of others and brought significance to the world through his life.  I pray that God will help me live my life so that many will feel they have lost someone very significant when I'm gone!